EDP invests highest value ever in startups and announces first exit
EDP Ventures invested more than 6 million euros in 2019, in a total of 16 operations carried out in startups in five countries. Smart electricity grids and digital innovation were the areas of greatest investment.
EDP Ventures, EDP's Venture Capital arm, closed the year 2019 with an investment of more than 6 million euros, in a total of 16 operations carried out in startups in five countries: Portugal, Spain, Holland, Brazil and Israel. It is the highest amount ever invested by the company in a single year.
At the end of 2019, EDP Ventures concluded investments in new startups in the areas of digital innovation, electric mobility and smart grids.
Energyworx, a Dutch data management startup that supports utilities in energy transition processes, received funding to scale and accelerate international growth in the United States of America and Europe. Net2Grid, a data analysis startup also based in the Netherlands, also received investment from EDP Ventures. The company has developed a technology that allows utility customers to receive information in real time about the energy consumption of their equipment.
The Portuguese Effizency (formerly Save2Compete), Drivit and Hypelabs also received financing from EDP Ventures in 2019, the last two in co-investment with the Financial Development Institution (IFD). Effizency, which resulted from a spin-off from the EDP Group, created a technological solution for utilities to help SMEs to reduce their energy bills by adopting energy efficiency solutions. Drivit has developed a telematic app to help companies and drivers determine their driving style and standard behavior, allowing, among other applications, the mapping of trips or the determination of profiles more conducive to using an electric vehicle. Finally, Hypelabs developed an SDK (Software Development Kit) that allows communication between different devices without using the internet, through a mesh network, applicable to all types of objects and any operating system.
The year of 2019 was also marked by the first 100% exit at Presenso, an Israel startup that developed a machine learning solution for predictive asset maintenance, an essential tool for companies like EDP, whose assets, when stopped for maintenance, represent significant losses.
The last year also served to consolidate the activity of the investment team in Brazil (recently created in 2018), in achieving three new investments in local companies: Dom Rock, a company that developed a platform to, using artificial intelligence, capture and analyze unstructured data; Fractal, an artificial intelligence company for the management of hydrological resources; and Voltbrás, a startup that developed an electric vehicle charging platform.
For Luís Manuel, director of EDP Ventures, 2019 was very positive, not only due to the fact that EDP Ventures reached a record investment value, but also due to the quality and potential of the startups in which the company invested.
“It was an excellent year in terms of our investment activity. We have eight more Portuguese startups in our portfolio, which demonstrates the quality of the national ecosystem and EDP's continued commitment. We started the investment activity with a dedicated local team in Brazil and launched the foundation to do the same in Spain from 2020. And we did it without jeopardizing the global vocation of EDP Ventures, as shown by the origin of several startups in our portfolio. We also made our first exit, which allowed a very attractive financial return. No less important, 2019 was the year in which the best results were achieved in terms of establishing business relationships between startups and EDP's business units, contributing to their success, which makes us very satisfied, since this is one of EDP Ventures' strategic goals ”, explains Luís Manuel.
In 2020, EDP Ventures intends to launch an investment vehicle in Spain in collaboration with national and regional public entities and has 5 million euros to allocate to the best projects. In this context, agreements for the development of partnerships with the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) and the regional Government of Asturias have already been closed for co-investment.
The year of 2020 will continue to be marked by the monitoring and development of investment companies, and the investment portfolio currently has interesting prospects for growth and appreciation in the short term, with new financing rounds under discussion and preparation.
The priority areas for investment are aligned with EDP group's business and are divided between clean energies, energy storage solutions, smart grids, digital innovation and solutions related to customers. Since it was created in 2008, EDP Ventures has invested more than 36 million euros in 34 startups.